Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lake Elizabeth and Crater Lake

On October 16th we traveled to eastern Washington and  on the way did some exploring in the area of Skykomish, Washington.  Our main destination was an old mine near the outlet of Money Creek, the Damon Pythias mine which was the subject of the previous post.

We met some friends there and while waiting for them to arrive, hiked around Lake Elizabeth, a small alpine lake that we had visited before and which is easily accessible from the same forest road that took us to the mine.  These first few pictures are of that lake.

the trail around Lake Elizabeth

Lake Elizabeth

When our friends arrived we went first to the mine and explored it.  When finished at the mine we hiked on down the road (now decommissioned by the Forest Service and impassable to vehicles) and went in search of a second alpine lake, Crater Lake.

I had searched for this lake once before on a wet and foggy day and had gotten lost but this time I had my GPS and the coordinates for the lake and we did make it to the lake but only after losing the trail several times and having to scramble up some steep slopes.

Losing the trail was not the worst thing that could have happened since we found a beautiful falls (unnamed as far as I know) that was on Money Creek, the outlet for the lake.  Eventually we found the trail again and were at the lake in time to eat our lunch there.

The trail, such as it was, was marked with bits of pink and orange ribbon but we had trouble finding them at times.  They were an improvement, however, on the previous trip when the only markers were bits of soggy toilet paper, many of which had disintegrated.

In spite of the difficulties we had this is a hike I want to do again, perhaps next summer.  It was especially interesting to us in that there was no one else in the area and we like hiking alone.  In any case we can now say that we visited Washington's Crater Lake.

the trail

an unnamed waterfall


near the lake's outlet

Crater Lake

Larch Wax Cap



  1. Wonderful finds off the beaten path =) Great photos! Those 'shrooms in the last shot are neat! They kinda look like apples =)

    1. This is an area we want to explore further. There are more lakes and a lot of mines in the area.

  2. What a wonderful area to explore. A lovely waterfall & I like the rickety bridge. The Toadstools were a nice find.

    1. This is indeed a great area to explore. There's a rare orchid that grows up there, several alpine lakes and a number of old mines. We have plans to go back this coming summer to explore more of the mines.

    2. A lot of the photos remind me of the area around my hometown of Queenstown on the West Coast of Tasmania. There's a reservoir not far from the town with many pine trees surrounding it.

    3. I would not have thought of Tasmania that way. I guess one always has a mental picture of something and very often it has no resemblance to the reality.


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